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Teen's memorial can return [Updated]

Management property official says the order to dismantle did not come from the company or association board.

June 21, 2013|By Bradley Zint
  • Bernice Torres grieves for her brother Luis Adrian Torres near the site where he died in a car crash on June 17.
Bernice Torres grieves for her brother Luis Adrian Torres… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

The chief executive of a property management company for several residences near the site where a Costa Mesa teen crashed his car, leading to fatal injuries, has personally apologized to the teen's family after they were forced to remove a memorial built for him.

Cary Treff, head of Keystone Pacific Property Management, also told Luis Adrian Torres' family that they can bring the memorial back. It had been set up along Susan Street near Sunflower Avenue in a privately owned median that Treff's Irvine-based company manages for the adjacent residential community, Providence Park.

"On behalf of the Providence Park Homeowners Assn. Board of Directors, the Keystone Pacific Property Management team has contacted the family of Luis Torres to reiterate that no one from the [board] or Keystone Pacific Property Management team gave any direction to remove the memorial from the association-owned median," Treff wrote in a statement to the Daily Pilot on Friday.

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"The Providence Park board was upset to learn that they had been misrepresented, and we have told family representatives that they are welcome to reinstall the memorial in the median should they wish to do so."

Monica Soto, Torres' mother, said that her family plans to rebuild the memorial 2 p.m. Saturday.

The collection of flowers, photos and other mementos set up where police say 19-year-old Torres, driving at a high rate of speed, crashed his 1990 Jaguar XJ-6 into a tree early Sunday had been up for nearly 48 hours when the family was told to take it down Tuesday. They later reassembled it in their Westside home for private mourning.

The Torres family said they now believe the woman who ordered them to clear the private property was an employee, not a resident, of Providence Park.

[Update: Treff said there are no onsite employees at the complex, nor is there an onsite office.]

Family friend Mary Thomas Sanders said Treff was personally contributing toward the $4,500 the Torres family hopes to raise for funeral costs.

"[Treff] was very sincere ... . He really was," Sanders said.

Treff would not comment on the donation.

"We may or may not make a donation to the memorial fund," he said in an email. "We would like that to remain between the family and us."

Torres, who graduated from Estancia High School in 2011 and worked at Chipotle Mexican Grill in Costa Mesa, was popular with students and co-workers.

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